Vlakem se ještě cestuje pohodlnější

Discussion in 'Čeština (Czech)' started by Odriski, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. Odriski Senior Member

    Hi, everyone! I came across another "weird" Czech sentence, please see as below:
    Vlakem se ještě cestuje pohodlnější
    So where is the subject? "vlakem se cestuje"? If so, where is "je"? (shouldn't it be "Vlakem se ještě cestuje je pohodlnější"? Or can "je" be omitted?)
    If not "vlakem se cestuje", then which one is the subject? Is this an impersonal expression?

    Many thanks for you and sorry to trouble you again and again.
  2. atcheque

    atcheque mod errant (Fr-En, français, čeština)

    Česko (2009)
    français (France)
    Dobrý den,

    I think the subject is not explicitly expressed but is included in cestuje (se): it/one.
    Vlakem is an instrumental (by train).
    The meaning for me is: Travelling by train is still comfortable. There is no explicit subject too. ;)
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
  3. Odriski Senior Member

    Dobrý den, pane Atcheque!
    First I think it is as what you say, but there is still one thing I couldn't understand well, can this sentence drop "je"? I mean, I think it should be "Vlakem se ještě cestuje je pohodlnější", but actually in this sentence "je" is missing, as this word "je" is equal to English "is"...So, can you explain that?...:confused:
    Thank you very much!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2015
  4. atcheque

    atcheque mod errant (Fr-En, français, čeština)

    Česko (2009)
    français (France)
    cestovat is to travell
    Here we have cestovat se.
    I am not a native nor a specialist, I was just tough this se implies an ongoing action translated in English by V+ing.
    The literal translation would be : It still travels one by train comfortably, if to travel could be transitive.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
  5. Odriski Senior Member

    Thanks, this explanation makes sense. Yes I was also confused by "cestovat se", I looked up in the online dictionary, but no explantion for "cestovat se".
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2015
  6. atcheque

    atcheque mod errant (Fr-En, français, čeština)

    Česko (2009)
    français (France)
    Or better : One still travels oneself by train comfortably, if to travel could be transitive.
  7. Hrdlodus

    Hrdlodus Senior Member

    This sentence is wrong.
    It is impersonal expression.
    Subject – ono (= it)
    Verb – se cestuje

    It can be: "
    Vlakem se ještě cestuje, je pohodlnější." (Must be je and must be comma.)
    – Meaning (with my bad English) = "In this times people still travel by train, it is more comfortable." And the je is used: vlak je pohodlnější, not for: ono (or cestování) je pohodlnější.

    It can be: "Vlakem se ještě cestuje pohodlněji."
    – Meaning: "Traveling by train is still more comfortable (than other forms of traveling)."
    – pohodlnější = Is better this seat or that seat? This seat is more comfortable.
    – pohodlněji = How do you feel, when you are sitting on this seats? When I am sitting on this seat, I feel more comfortable.

    So somewhere is a mistake in that sentence.
  8. Odriski Senior Member

    Dear Hrdlodus:
    I also confused that: shouldn't the verb be in infinitive form in this sentence? eg. Vlakem se ještě cestovat pohodlněji. Can a verb in conjugation be used as a part of the subject or the accusative?...
    Thank you very much and Best Regards
  9. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    There is no verb cestovat se :cross:. (Ono) se cestuje is merely an impersonal reflexive construction, the verb is always in 3rd person sing. The formal subject is ono (= it), however it is seldom expressed explicitly.

    Vlakem se cestuje pohodlněji. (travelling by train is more comfortable)
    Vlakem se vždycky cestovalo pohodlněji.
    Vlakem se bude vždycky cestovat pohodlněji.

    It can be easily translated to French, even though the corresponding French construction is different (the subject is on < homme/homo):

    Ici on parle français. = Zde se mluví francouzsky. (ono se zde mluví ...)
    On habite ici, on travaille la. = Zde se bydlí, tam se pracuje.
    Silence, on diffuse! = Ticho, vysílá se!
  10. Odriski Senior Member

    Thanks for all of your patience, I know that now. I really need a Czech thinking way to learn this language, or it can be a difficulty to understand. If we translate literally into English by sentence, it is " It still travels one by train comfortably", so I will try to drop the English thinking way when learning Czech.
  11. francisgranada Senior Member

    Let's express the impersonal "se" in English using the word "one" and you'll see that the Czech sentences are not that different from their possible English translations:

    Vlakem se cestuje pohodlněji. One travels (3rd pers sg.) more confortably (adverb) by train.
    Vlakem je cestovat pohodlnější. It is more confortable (adjective) to travel (infinitive) by train.

    Your example seems to be a mixture of the above two.

    P.S. Sorry for repeating partially what aready has been told, I haven't noticed it before ...
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
  12. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    Vlakem se cestuje pohodlně (pohodlněji).
    (pohodlně = comfortably; pohodlněji is comparative = more comfortably)

    Literally: It travels itself by train (more) comfortably.

    English has no such construction, maybe the following is close enough:

    One travels by train (more) comfortably.

    French: On voyage en train confortablement. (lit. man travels by train comfortably)
  13. francisgranada Senior Member

    In Spanish (Italian, Portuguese ...) this impersonal se works similarly:
    En tren se viaja más confortablemente.
  14. atcheque

    atcheque mod errant (Fr-En, français, čeština)

    Česko (2009)
    français (France)
    Dobrý den kamarádi,

    Prosím vás: mluvíme o češtině ;)
    atcheque, moderátor
  15. wtfpwnage Member

    It should be "Vlakem se ještě cestuje, je pohodlnější" , it makes no sense to say Vlakem se ještě cestuje pohodlnější

    Literal translation is "Trains are still being traveled, they are more comfortable"
  16. atcheque

    atcheque mod errant (Fr-En, français, čeština)

    Česko (2009)
    français (France)
    Thank you wtfpwnage, it has already been explained by natives.
  17. Tchesko

    Tchesko Senior Member

    Paris 12
    I don't know about the Czech/English thinking way but this is a grammar feature called "impersonal reflexive". It consists in making a "subjectless" construction by using a 3rd-person verb with the reflexive pronoun "se", with no stated agent:

    Tady se pije. Here drinking goes on (lit. [It] is drinking itself here.)
    Tady se nekou
    ří.One doesn't smoke here (lit. [It] doesn't smoke itself here.)

    Such constructions are possible even with intransitive verbs:

    Jde se domů. We are / people are going home (lit. [It] is going itself home.)

    Although this is a widely used construction in Czech, I would argue it is quite an advanced feature for someone trying to learn the language. Before learning it, I would expect you to master the "reflexive passive".

    Reflexive passive is a way of making passive constructions such as:

    Jak se to píše? How is that written? (lit. How does that write itself?)
    Kde se prodávají lístky? Where are the tickets sold? (lit. Where do tickets sell themselves?)
    Obchod se zavírá v šest. The shop closes / is closed at six (lit. The shop closes itself at six.)
    Polévka se vaří. The soup is boiling / being boiled (lit. The soup is boiling itself.)

    In the last two examples, you may notice the possible translations into English using either an active or a passive verb.

    (I took all the examples from "Czech, An Essential Grammar" by J. Naughton.)


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